Your Public Relations and Communications Community

We’re here for you: Tap into PRSA National


July 3, 2012

Every year, our volunteer leaders travel throughout the country to meet with our Chapters and Districts, and occasionally, I’ve been fortunate enough to join these visits.

These trips allow me to meet more of our members, discuss what we’re doing at National and learn about what’s happening in your community. I also get to see what life is like across this country — like the trip I took to Alaska during a January snowstorm.

During the past month, I had the chance to visit the Nashville and Arkansas Chapters. Between these trips, I attended our annual Leadership Rally in New York on June 8. Hosted by 2012 Chair-Elect Mickey Nall,  APR, the event attracted 100 of our incoming leaders for a day and a half of brainstorming, networking and discussing best practices.

These visits are an important part of  PRSA’s culture. By getting to know each other face-to-face, we strengthen long-distance relationships and cultivate open communication.

But there’s another reason that these visits are key. Surveys show that our members value the benefits that they receive from their Chapters and from PRSA National almost equally — with the perceived value of Chapters holding a slight edge.
 
And while one role of  National is to directly deliver benefits to members (such as our Code of Ethics, our award-winning publications and our webinars), we have another important role as well, one that isn’t as immediately visible: supporting our Chapters.

Every year, we provide infrastructure, advice and funding to help make our Chapters, Districts and Sections strong. For example:

  • PRSA National regularly runs membership promotion campaigns, such as “Join National, get your Chapter free.”  We provide marketing collateral and absorb the cost of dues so that Chapters can attract new members without losing dues income.
     
  • PRSA helps Chapters identify speakers for programs and provides stipends to help pay for those speakers.
     
  • PRSA offers administrative and IT support. For example, Chapter and District leaders have access to their own dashboard on the PRSA website, which provides a summary of upcoming programs, files for leadership to share with members and access to the Chapter Web pages.
     
  • Each Chapter can easily access its own roster reports — showing current members, new members, address changes and other information from our central database. 
     
  • We prominently feature Chapters on the PRSA homepage, which connects to a Chapter directory and to Chapter “mini pages.” 
     
  • PRSA provides extensive tools and resources, such as budget templates, model financial policies, bylaw templates, tips for retaining members and more.

PRSA National plays many roles, from advocacy to providing content such as webinars and daily, industry-focused headlines to help you do your job.  We also play a deeper role by providing resources for our communities.  Whether your Chapter is in California or the Carolinas, we’re here for you.

William (Bill) M. Murray, CAE, is the chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Email: william.murray at prsa.org



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